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11
Pity Thranduil if He Ever Hears the Gulls

That is why my song unleashed such rage.

I wiped my eyes as Gimli concluded: “So Legolas has no hope of seeing either parent ever again, and he leaves them both in anguish. No sea-change for either of them. Elsila will not go to the Undying Lands and Thranduil will not leave her for he thinks he may yet persuade her to accept the summons. All they can do is fade, waiting. And Legolas himself has done waiting. The sea-longing pulls him like the tides.”

“Pity Thranduil if he ever hears the gulls,” I said. We looked out the window again. The rain was moving towards open sea like a great ghost ship pulling out of port, and we saw Legolas swimming.

“I will go ask his pardon” I said. I could think of nothing else to do, save bring him some towels and my futile regrets.

As I came to the quay Legolas walked out of the sea. I handed him linen towels. He wrapped one about his hips and another about his shoulders. “Thank you,” he said. “I hope you will forgive –”

“Do not, please. I was the one who offended. It was unwitting, but that does not take away the pain. I ask your pardon, Legolas.”

He clasped my hand, and we walked back together like that.

When we were in the common room again, Legolas said, “Gimli, we sail tomorrow morning. Shall we go to the ship?” He turned to the window the way a dry drinker reaches for wine.

But Gimli said, “I would rather spend this last night properly on shore. And old friend, I would rather not spend it alone.” He had his needs too.

Legolas said, “Old friend, that is what my heart desires also. I will get us rooms.”

“I will get you rooms,” I said. “Your money is no good here.”

That is what they would do for love of the other – Legolas resisting the sea-longing, Gimli braving the voyage. I began to see that I could do something as well. Yes. I believed I saw a plan. Not for restoring the House of Thranduil in Middle-earth. No one could do that. But maybe I could offer hope of its reunion in the Far West, and so atone for past wrongs.

I left Legolas and Gimli at the tavern and went home for a while, to make my preparations.

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